How to Make a French Memo Board

French Memo Board (of Shame)

Never mind that the colour is off here, I keep holding back from deleting this photo because the world needs to know how not to make a French memo board.

First, making the board is entirely easy. Entirely. All you need is a big piece of fabric, some ribbons, some buttons, some needle and thread, a piece of foam board, and a stapler. Cover the foam board with fabric. Staple it to the back. Put the ribbons where you want them. Staple them to the back. Put the buttons where you want them. Attach with needle and thread. DONE!

But I was in such excited haste that I did all of the following to ruin this simple process, all of which you must promise not to do:

1. I bought four little pieces of fabric instead of one big piece because they only had little pieces of the fabric I liked best in the store, a fabric that now disappoints me every day because I want to incorporate more blue/purple into my green/neutrals design scheme, and I keep chickening out and playing it safe.

Buying little pieces of fabric is why there is a horizontal line (green ribbon) at the top and a vertical line (cream ribbon) off-center. It's to cover the parts where the fabric comes together. (Not seams, because I didn't actually sew anything together, which would have been all too sensible.) Furthermore, I was too impatient and didn't overlap properly and snipped too much and didn't feel like redoing and so bits of the fabric keep poking around the ribbon. Luckily, the postcards cover it up when they're inserted between the ribbons.

2. I didn't measure the postcards first. I decided to make this to store my postcards. Yeah, well, maybe I should have measured said postcards before making that horizontal line at the top where the spaces between buttons is about 11/16ths of an inch shy of being wide enough for a postcard.

3. I ran out of cream ribbon. I tell myself that the intersection to the right is an artsy contrast to the traditional French memo diamond pattern at left, and it's really the fault of the inadequate pieces of fabric that there is even this right section, but I could have faked my way out of this if I'd made sure I had enough cream ribbon, which I didn't.

So, my main advice is to not be half-assed about making your French Memo Board; they're just so dead easy to do, and you've no excuse now that I've made the mistakes so no one else has to. Meanwhile, I look forward to moving this one to the laundry room wall and running up a new one, a proper one, in shades of a Mediterranean seaside.


French Memo Board - Detail

09 April 2006 |

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